5 Top Mistakes Made By Recruiters In The Screening Process

03 Sep 2018

Running A Temp Agency

As recruitment professionals, you’ll be familiar with spending your time partaking in various stages of the screening process, and with mountains of them to view, review, sort through and log, you’ll need to know how to spot flaws, mistakes and obviously, the diamonds in the rough.


Many candidates tell white lies on their CVs or exaggerate their experience and areas of expertise during the screening process, this is a widely known, accepted and generally is relatively harmless, the candidate’s job at this point, is, after all, to sell themselves to you, the recruiter, and highlight and sell their areas of expertise. However, be vigilant of particularly flamboyant CVs with ‘too good to be true’ experience; this may well be accurate information, but a little background check and reference checking will tell you whether or not it’s legit and accurate or not. You or your clients don’t want to discover that they were a little more than white lies, further down the line.


A common and possibly one of the most frustrating rejection reasons is ‘you were too overqualified for the position’. What does this mean? The candidate has too good a grasp on the industry? Too much skill and expertise in the area? They’d be too good at the job? Surely you want the best and most qualified candidate that you can find.

On occasion, you may find, for example, that a candidate who has worked in management will struggle to fit the culture of the team or struggle with being managed rather than managing. However, this is more down to the individual and their personality fit rather than their experience; meet them, interview them and give them the chance to impress you, rather than writing them off early doors. There’re an increasing amount of professionals who’re looking to change career paths, move down the career ladder or take a small step back or horizontally even.

Overqualified shouldn’t instantly mean a bad fit for you; you could miss a brilliant hire.


This isn’t, or shouldn’t be, a one person job. One person may be in charge of the final decisions or task overall, but hiring a candidate takes more than one employee and there should be a tried, tested and reviewed process in place for screening candidates. The second pair of eyes and outside perspective is always beneficial for any task, not just when screening candidates; candidate potential may be missed, or previous knowledge of the individual might be offered for example. The internal process should cover the CV and all interviewing stages. Is there a route through which the CV must travel, logged in a certain way? Similarly, the interviews should all be recorded and reported in the same way, going one step further, the process for responses should be structured; this is not to say that the whole process should be impersonal, just regulated.


You review CV’s for a reason, because you’re trying to find the right person for the team, for the organisation. As recruitment professionals, this is a struggle you’re only too familiar with; however, this is no excuse to ‘settle’. Settling will not satisfy you or your client in the long run, if they’re not perfect but have potential then great, but if they’re not right then don’t settle. That said…


…is another rooky mistake, because, as we’ve stated previously – there’s not such thing! Your short list of potential candidates is sure to contain some good options, and even if they’re not ideal, is there training that could be applied to mould them? Of course, if your only options really aren’t fitting then keep searching, but don’t fall into the trap of either rejecting, or waiting and losing, potentially strong candidates just in case a better one is around the corner; each situation is unique, but usually, job openings do have a deadline!

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